A new study shows that teens who consume alcohol are more likely to feel like they are outcasts socially, and this form of substance abuse results in an increase in the social stress felt by the teen. The study was undertaken by 3 professors from different schools, 2 of which belong to the University of Texas at Austin. These study author include sociology professor Robert Crosnoe and assistant human ecology professor Aprile Benner. The 3rd study author was Michigan State University sociology and education professor Barbara Schneider. The professors used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, commonly called ADD Health. More than 8,200 adolescents provided survey information that is contained in the ADD Health database.
The research study actually showed a relation between drinking alcohol and poor grades, and this link was strengthened when the school community was tight knit and alcohol use was not considered acceptable by most kids. When teens in these schools who drink are surrounded by teens who do not drink then the teen drinking feels outcast socially. The study is published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, June issue.
Study author Robert Crosnoe stated “This finding doesn’t imply that drinkers would be better off in schools in which peer networks are tightly organized around drinking. Instead, the results suggest that we need to pay attention to youth in problematic school environments in general but also to those who may have trouble in seemingly positive school environments. In general, adolescents who feel as though they don’t fit in at school often struggle academically, even when capable and even when peers value academic success, because they become more focused on their social circumstances than their social and academic activities.”